HomeSchools & YouthSan Marino Boys' Basketball Off to Unbeaten Start

San Marino Boys’ Basketball Off to Unbeaten Start

The San Marino High boys’ basketball team looked to finish their opening week of the season with three wins in three games. The final hurdle was a contest on the road facing San Gabriel.

The Titans used a strong finish to the second quarter and then stoked the lead from there to get past the host Matadors 78-57 in nonleague action on Nov. 17.

“We kind of knew it was going to be a gritty game,” San Marino coach Mihail Papadopulos said. “I think this is the best group for San Gabriel that I have seen in quite some time. They play really, really hard, so we knew it was going to be just like a dogfight on the court.”

San Gabriel was as close as two points early in the second quarter, which started with the Titans up 18-13. San Marino (3-0 overall) then scored the next five points on a three-pointer from the corner by Marco Rangel and a layup by Adrian Huang to pull ahead 27-20 midway into the second quarter. San Gabriel (1-1) hung around until an 11-1 run in the final two minutes of the half gave the Titans full control. The run started with back-to-back three-pointers from Jayden Tse. The next points came on a Huang layup. Then, after a Matador free throw, Tse sank a corner three off an assist by Nicholas Chen for the final points of the half and a 43-27 advantage at the break.

“The second quarter, it just turned us on really,” Tse said. “So, they got under our skin and we started to come out with a fight. We wanted to win that fight, so there is no way we would have lost.”

The Titans kept the pressure on in the third and padded their cushion with a 10-2 run covering the middle of the period. Casey Chan got it started with a putback. Then, with 4:19 to go, Robert Reyes hit a free throw to balloon the advantage to 20 for the first time. Reyes then made a steal that led to a layup. The Matadors missed the next time down the floor before Chen converted two free throws. San Gabriel then hit a pair of free throws, but a three-pointer by Eli Chin pushed the San Marino lead to its third-quarter peak of 25.

The fourth quarter saw the Titans achieve their largest lead of the game at 72-45 with 6:01 left to play, following a pair of free throws by Chan and then another two by Huang. San Gabriel found some offense down the stretch, but never came close to threatening the Titans’ control of the contest. The final points of the game came on a putback by Mitch Mooney.

“Our guys maybe didn’t start out as intense as we typically like, but then they got themselves going. They got real competitive and they got themselves going,” Papadopulos said. “We like the way our guys compete. Overall it was a good effort.”

San Marino had 10 different players score against the Matadors. Chan led all scorers with 19 points, including 17 in the first three quarters before the Titans put in their reserves.

“[Chan] just gives us this really determined effort every night,” Papadopulos said.

Huang had 16 points, including eight in the pivotal second frame. Tse joined them in double digits with 12 points, courtesy of four threes. Reyes tallied eight points, Chin six and Mooney five. Chen had four points, and Rangel and Leo Shyr each scored three. Jack Fuerst rounded out the scoring with two points.

San Gabriel had two players in double digits. Henry Sy had 16 points and Tianhao Qiao tallied 12.

It was Qiao who scored the first basket of the game, in a first quarter that saw two ties, the latest at 5-5. Two free throws by Fuerst gave the visitors the lead for good with 4:06 left in the opening quarter. The Titans’ biggest lead in the quarter was five points, which was achieved three times. The final time came at the end of the frame, when Huang spun in the lane and scored at the horn to make it 18-13 going into the second.

With the win over the Matadors, San Marino finished a perfect opening week with three wins in three games. It started with a 84-70 win at Holy Martyrs Armenian on Nov. 13 and then a 73-40 win over Hoover in the home opener Nov. 15.

First published in the Nov. 23 issue of the San Marino Tribune


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